It’s easy to open the yellow pages (remember them?) or search online to find a detective. You have to remember that when you look for a detective, you are hiring somebody who is going to be your confidant. This person is going to be privy to all sorts of sensitive information. This information, if it falls into the wrong hands, can easily haunt you; not just now, but long into the future.
I hope you see what’s at stake here. This is why it’s really important to prepare yourself properly, before looking for a detective. Otherwise, you run the risk of picking the wrong “professional” and end up regretting, in so many ways, later on. Hindsight is 20/20 and bad decisions can definitely pack a punch, as far as your finances and emotional well-being are concerned.
Maybe you’re going through a divorce, a nasty business dispute, or you are engaged in a private tort action. Whatever the case may be, there’s a lot on the line. We’re not just talking about sums of money, but also of your most important asset: your peace of mind. Do yourself a favor, properly prepare before you look for a detective.
Do you have your facts ready?
It’s easy to come up with a hunch, whip out the phone, and call a professional. If you do that, you’ll probably end up spending a lot more money than you needed to. The professional would have to piece together all sorts of information. They would probably have to interview more than once. All these steps cost a lot more. You may be able to afford these additional steps, but I still suggest you get your facts together before you pick up the phone or make the contact.
Why? If anything, you would be more organized. You would go beyond the territory of hunches and more towards facts. The more facts you have, the more concrete your case will be. It would be easier for your detective to do their job. Moreover, it can give you a tremendous sense of personal clarity regarding your situation. Maybe you’re very emotional about the possibility of your spouse cheating on you. Perhaps you are upset at the notion of your partner doing side deals that are undermining the company that you worked so hard to build.
It’s too easy to be affected because of the details of your particular situation. Unfortunately, we may get so upset that we don’t properly think things through. We end up taking action based on hunches and impulses. All sorts of disasters lie in wait. If you don’t want to do that, take the time and give yourself space to gather facts. If you hire the right detective, they would know how to put these facts together, and create a concrete investigative plan.
Be clear about who the people involved are
If you think about it hard enough, investigating a case is not much different from a play. A play has characters, acts, and plot lines. The same factors and dynamics are in operation when it comes to investigations. Your hunches and suspicions provide the plot lines. However, for detective work to proceed smoothly, you also need to have a fairly well-defined cast. You may not be aware of the wide range of people involved, but by focusing on the key players of your particular situation, you can lay the groundwork for your detective to connect the dots properly.
This is important because the more gaps there are in your initial file, the more work and time will be involved. The cost may not be a problem with you, but it can also involve more time. When it comes to filing legal cases and logistical considerations, time is often of the essence. Try to identify or at least get a rough parameter of who the key players are, before you pick a detective.
Be clear about your resources
Now we’re talking about dollars and cents. It’s one thing to feel that you need a detective; it’s another to actually be able to afford one. Hiring a professional detective will cost money. You need to know how much resources you have available to spend on such a specialized service provider. This can impact your range of choices and also the kind of investigation you need done.
While all things being equal, people would prefer the widest type of investigation possible, but they may not be able to afford such. You have to get a clear idea of how much you’re willing to spend. Looking at your other expenses and the value of your assets, how much money can you really afford to spend to ensure that your case is properly investigated?
In addition to the dollars and cents in your bank account, you also need to think of your resources in terms of time. How much of your personal time will be involved in the investigation? Can you do other things that are more worthwhile? Can you see situations where you will be taken out of action because you’re assisting the private investigator you hired? How much money could you have earned if your time wasn’t being sucked up by the investigation? How much money would the investigation bring to the table assuming everything goes according to plan? Is there some sort of cut-off amount that makes the investigation not worth it? It’s important to keep this in mind because your opportunity costs might be so burdensome that it doesn’t really make much effort to pursue a case regardless of how deserving the law says you are.
Pay attention to the three factors that I have mentioned above. You have to prepare yourself before hiring a detective. It’s not like you’re just going to pick up the phone and hire a plumber or a roofer. This is specialized work that involves a lot of possibilities, both good and bad. If things blow up, disasters can happen. You need to make sure that you are prepared, before you take the initial steps to hire a professional detective.